1. Get organised
Most study tips are about the moment you sit down to pore over your books, but we’re big fans of preparation. Every subject has its own submission dates, lectures, readings, labs, placement, office hours – the list is endless. It’s too much to keep in your head, and if you try, you’ll turn up to a lecture one afternoon and realise the essay you thought was due next Tuesday was actually due today.
Channel your inner Lesley Knope, and grab a planner like Karst’s Weekly Desk Pad, or a date-free diary like Studio Milligram's Weekly Undated Organisation Notebook, and fill in all your due dates for the semester. Highlight key dates and colour-code them so you can see what’s going on at a glance – that way, you can stay on top of everything, and save yourself from nasty surprises.
Check out our collection of planning tools to help you get organised
2. Take notes
If you struggle to keep your hands off your phone during lectures, you might be a chronic multi-tasker. Rather than reach for your phone, try pulling out your favourite pen and notebook combo, and jot down the two minutes of important details in your two-hour lecture. It’ll save you wracking your brain later, after you’ve walked out of the lecture theatre and your mind wipes itself clean.
Even if you’re just doodling in the margins, you’ll be surprised how much better you remember the lecture – turns out, keeping your hands busy lets your ears work a little harder.
For a super-comfortable pen that’s easy to hold through those long lectures, our favourite are Kaweco Rollerball pens, or go for a touch of vintage sophistication with Ballograf’s stylish Epoca P Luxe.
As for notebooks, you’re spoiled for choice! Whether you’d like something with a bit of character, like Decomposition Book’s spiral-bound Mermaids notebook, something more simple like Rhodia’s unpretentious Pad #18, or even something as timeless as Moleskine’s Classic Hard Cover Notebook, we’ve got the perfect notebook for you.
3. Stay hydrated
At the risk of sounding like a Mum (or a Twitter bot), drink more water! If you’re in the middle of a panic-cram the night before an exam, or you’re prepping for a presentation, you’re almost certainly not getting enough water, and $5 pints from the unibar aren’t a substitute. Grab yourself a reusable water bottle, and carry it everywhere you go so you’ve always got hydration in arm’s reach.
The Kinto Workout Bottle is a stylish, unique design that makes it easier than ever to stay hydrated throughout the day. Featuring a half twist cap, it allows you to quickly hydrate yourself on the go. With an opening in the middle of the bottle, the bottle can be easily cleaned and also filled with fun stuff like cucumber or orange slices! What's not to love?
Or for something more stylish, the 24Bottles range features a dazzling spectrum of stunning metallic finishes, vibrant prints and captivating colours, so there's guaranteed to be something that matches your aesthetic.
Find a heap of reusable solutions to keep your body in gear here
4. Get in the right headspace
The hardest part of any study session is getting started. When there’s always something more interesting going on in your Insta stories, or TikToks to catch up on, getting into the zone is tough! Starting with music can help set the tone – there’s always lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to, Spotify’s Deep Focus playlist, or Study Beats on Apple Music to get you settled.
But there’s more to atmosphere than just sound – light a candle, or burn some incense, and you’ll find yourself relaxing into a more relaxed, focused mindset. Studio Milligram's Shoal Scented Candle has a salty, refreshing fragrance inspired by the Australian coastline that’ll help to clear your head when things are getting stressful, or strike a Hibi Incense Stick for a quick reset of your senses.
5. Take breaks
One of the study tips we learned the hard way: you can’t study forever, and a panicked 8-hour study binge is just going to wear you out. Research suggests a strategic break helps you learn better, and retain some of that textbook you’re trying to squish into your skull. Try a Pomodoro timer (there are tons of apps for every type of phone and laptop), and get yourself into a rhythm that works for you, balancing focus with the breaks your brain needs. And don’t forget to sleep!
Studying is hard enough as it is, so hopefully our study tips help you make things a little easier for yourself. Good luck!